By Jessica Hearn
The key to success in college—regardless of where you go to school, what program you are in, or how involved you plan to be—is balance. During my five years as a college student (undergrad and grad school), I learned, practiced, and perfected this skill over and over again. I had a job, was a member of a sorority, a member of several other campus organizations, and was also a full time student. On top of my responsibilities, I was also a friend, a girlfriend, and someone that thoroughly enjoyed all of the social aspects that college had to offer. So needless to say, I stayed busy. Although on any given day I was running 90 to nothing, I got it all done and still managed to maintain a decent GPA because I knew how to balance fun and responsibility. Did I sleep a lot? No. Was it worth it? Yes. You only get four years to be a college student—maybe five if you can stretch it out—but nonetheless the time goes by faster than you think. You need to make sure that you make the most of this time and try to experience all of the wonderful things that college has to offer without falling behind on your studies. Balance is a good skill to learn and an even greater skill to portray through your resume when it comes time to join the real world and look for your first job. Therefore, even though your focus in college should be to focus on your studies, it is also important to diversify yourself and learn how to juggle a few things at once. After all, that is mainly what the real world consists of. How do you create this sense of balance? Make a schedule, get organized, and prioritize. Make sure you schedule enough time in each day to take care of homework and studying for tests (this will be different for each person). Ultimately this should be your top priority. Your second priority should be to fulfill all of your responsibilities in the organizations that you have committed yourself to. This is where your planner (of which everyone needs) and being organized is key. Write everything down so that you can be sure not to overbook yourself! No one likes the person in the group that doesn’t show up or do their part because they “forgot,” and trust me, you don’t want to be known as that person either. Finally, make sure you make time for some fun, whatever your version of fun may be! College can be stressful so you need to make sure you allow yourself to unwind and enjoy yourself! So ultimately, don’t spend too much time doing any of these things, but instead strike a nice balance and distribute your time wisely. Hit the books when you have a deadline, show up on time, follow through on your commitments, and have fun, but stay out of trouble! If you do all of these things, not only will you have an unforgettable college experience, but you will also be able to land a job, and that my friends should be your ultimate goal! Find your balance!